Now Filton college has launched a course, aimed at women, showing them how to do the plumbing at home without resorting to the Yellow Pages or their cheque books.
So the game could soon be up for those hard-to-find professional plumbers, who are already feeling the pinch as a result of the expansion of professional plumbing courses.
Filton college suggests that ignorance of plumbing is a female preserve - or perhaps that women will admit their limitations.
Here's what FErret, using his in-built male expertise, would do if he came home from holiday to find the house turning into a scene from the Poseidon Adventure.
1) Turn off the stop-cock (after the future Mrs FErret has reminded him where it is).
2) Call a plumber!